Rev. Francis E. Grogan CSC

Rev. Francis E. Grogan  CSC
United Flight 175

Taking the Charitable View

He served as a sonar expert on a Navy destroyer during World War II. But the Rev. Francis E. Grogan spent the rest of his days sowing peace as a chaplain, a teacher and a parish priest.

He was not the kind of priest who lived to unravel theological contradictions or who sought power on a higher plane. He disliked confrontation and tried to take the charitable view, said the Rev. J. Robert Rioux, who met him when both were studying for the priesthood in North Easton, Mass., and remained his friend for the next 50 years. "His approach to life was, 'Don't sweat the small stuff,' " he said. "You could witness this tendency in his clothes." More than once, he showed up for chapel in his bedroom slippers.

Father Grogan, 76, was most recently the head of the Holy Cross Residence in North Dartmouth, Mass. On Sept. 11, he was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, planning to visit his sister in California, when the hijacked plane smashed into the World Trade Center.

Father Rioux envisioned his friend ministering to others until the last moment. In the cockpit of the jet, "evil was personified," Father Rioux said, "but personified goodness entered the scene, a person who loved people, a person of great faith."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 27, 2001.

Rev. F. Grogan, 76;

Priest, teacher

By Globe Staff, 9/16/2001

The Rev. Francis E. Grogan, superior of the Holy Cross residence in North Dartmouth, was killed Tuesday in the crash of United Flight 175 in New York. He was 76.

He was born and raised in Pittsfield, and earned degrees at the University of Notre Dame and Fordham University.

For six years after his ordination, he served as director of admissions and registrar at Stonehill College in Easton. He spent the next four years with the Family Theatre and Family Rosary Crusades in Madrid, where he helped produce Christian movies.

He also taught high school and served at churches in New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Texas, and Massachusetts - as chaplain and teacher at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, Conn.; assistant pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Bennington, Vt.; assistant pastor of San Jose Parish in Austin, Texas, and assistant pastor of Holy Cross Church in Easton.

In the 1960 Stonehill College yearbook, which was dedicated to him, he was remembered for his smile, his friendliness, and his patience, and he was called a model and a guide.

Father Grogan was traveling to see his sister, Anne Browne, in Ramona, Calif., when he died.

Along with his sister, he leaves two nephews, and his brothers in the Holy Cross community.

A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Holy Cross Church in Easton.

Editorial Obituary published in THE BOSTON GLOBE on 9/16/2001.

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